Bloodstar: Star Corpsman: Book One
by Ian Douglas
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Harper Voyager Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061894763
Date: 28 August 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Humans have reached the stars, but the universe isnít a friendly place. There is a galactic web that tracks the many beings that live in the galaxy. Although they tried to hide, humans ran into the Qesh, a migratory race that exploits planets and then move on to the next one. The initial contacts and conflicts, did not go well.
Elliot Carlyle is near completing his training as a navy medic attached to the marines. He is attached to the Black Wizards of the interstellar Fleet Marine Force. But his final test is delayed by an emergency, and he is shipped to the Bloodstar system. The deployment will provide opportunities for Carlyle, but only at great costs. A simple act of kindness will change the future.
The settlers of the system were religious fanatics that believed that they could atone for man's sins by suffering. When the Qesh arrive, some see it as a sign that they need to accept them as their penance. Others think that they need to fight the demons. The mission is additionally complicated by the toxic nature of the planet.
Author Ian Douglas launches a new space marine series with Bloodstar. This time we follow a medic, who becomes more. Technology in the 23rd century has advanced to the point where it is hard to kill someone, but it is still possible. But with additional tech people can have their memories uploaded and then used in a new or repaired body. Those that are reanimated are not treated well. This often causes the shuffling of casualties so that people don't know who has been reanimated.
I found this cultural dilemma interesting. This is the type of issue that I would expect this type of future to face. The bias that they face is similar to the way people who got new Bodies in John Scalzi's Old Man's War were treated by normal.
Ian Douglas is one of today's top military SF writers. His novels are action packed and flow from one scene to the next. It is hard to put them down once you start. This is no exception.